Your level of knowledge is your sustainable advantage vs. your competitor’s.
In the past year I’ve made three trips to Asia, and on each one I’ve encountered sales people dealing with the age old problem of having to cut prices. Their problem is compounded because they’ve built their businesses on the premise of offering what they have thought is a price so low nobody could touch them.
Low-price is a misnomer. If you want to build a sustainable business, it must be built on knowledge — not just the information you can bring to your customers, but also the information you can use to help make even better decisions.
Challenge yourself to discover each week at least one new insight about your business. It’s your ability to use and gain knowledge that can help you create an advantage over your competition and can boost your sales motivation. In fact, I believe that if you aggressively pursue knowledge and learn how to leverage it, then you won’t have any competitors. You’ll be operating in a segment where no one can touch you, because you’re so far ahead of everyone else.
Mark – I agree that knowledge is power and that each person must continue to study and adapt to today’s business (selling) environment. I see the idea of developing selling skills as a two sided coin. On the one side – yes, gain market knowledge, expertise, product and sales skill acumen (and this may insulate you some from commoditized pricing).
On the other side of the coin, though, is sales outreach or prospecting. This is about taking the message to the streets (i.e. to new customers). Qualify and cultivate a substantial list of potential buyers. Focus on current interest and systematically stay in touch.
Sharpened sales skills, industry and product knowledge are like the “better mousetrap.” The value of preparation is unlocked when it meets the customer. Developing selling skills must be done within a framework of outreach in order to gain the maximum value. See: http://www.prospectfactory.com/selling-skills.html
Preparation plus action equals maximum results. Thanks!